5 August 2011

just after 6. it's raining. the planes are going over. udo noll said he was listening to                   's rain in                   . one day he would make a whole day of rain recordings. the rain would fall on all kinds of surfaces all around the world - from downpours, as udo noll was saying in his mail, to the most scattered drops. the rain drums on the chicken shed. the chickens, the ethical arbiters, are lined up on their perch bar listening to the rain come down. you're tired. what have you been doing? the long week continues. go to bed early if you want to wake up with the clarity of the pond at Walden. the forest floats on the pond like a Du Fu landscape. this soundscape is muddy and unresolved. you went to the Cy Twombly show with S. Cy Twombly was making all these paintings in Rome, as Poussin had done. As you arrived at Dulwich Picture Gallery, among the rich people of Dulwich, with S, past the people of Dulwich at luncheon, and bought a concession, and a free entry, smelling, somebody, of chickens, and into the space of the old gallery with the mausoleum, the space inhabited with the ghost of Soane and the physical remains of Soane, you think, in a stone casket - the film of Cy Twombly by Tacita Dean was hanging in one gallery, suspended by wires: the bright rectangle hangs in the middle of the darkened gallery, with simple speakers in the corners and an ornate bench in front. Cy Twombly was there, ordering a turkey sandwich, with some other men, maybe an agent, maybe a curator, one of whom looked like his son. he was a large old man. Tacita Dean was filming him, as always, with her distinctive technique: closely from a distance: the subject is slightly wary, like a wildlife subject, but enabled to be its self, slightly wary self, in performance, performing its slightly wary, weary self: these old men who are quite embedded in their selves, their distinctive modern selves. 16mm with optical sound, the sound of the projector rolling - the movement of Twombly, either in a studio or in some restaurant - a kind of genteel diner with wooden panels, in the southern united states or could have been new england - somebody would know - it's a good sandwich, the waitress said - it's not dry - you drink a lot of coffee, Twombly said, quietly to one of the men - the other men, because it's a film of Twombly - Edwin Parker - his movements reminded you of Charles Olson - you're not sure you've seen a picture of Olson - his voice - the description of Olson in his house by the person who made the recordings of him reading from the big poem - all his mythology - but you were thinking about Olson because of the Rhode Island Red :

[every time you see the name of one of those chickens, there is a stutter - it is as if your spirits trying to collect themselves are pressed back down and apart]

that monster that rode out past Rhodos, and Rhoda, the protagonist in the ontological hysterical theatre - you went through into the first gallery and found by the first text panel the notice

In Memoriam
Cy Twombly
25 April - 5 July 2011

enclosed in a border

R's birthday

S sent him an email with a picture of a chicken in Mtwara, sheltering from a downpour under a plant - he was breathing slightly heavily, carefully, in that film -

you didn't know.

not discussing the death of Cy Twombly, you went into the show with S. you bought a postcard of the painting PAN. S got a poscard of Hero and Leandre, the great sobbing, bleeding painting in the room on Eros, and the sculpture Cygnus, 1979, which you took for plaster: in fact it's bronze painted with white paint. you went out past the lunching couples - the same ones mostly as when you went in - to the park established to separate Dulwich from the people of Peckham. you wandered there for an hour among the people and the old trees. S was on a banana bike

diary implies regular, reliable: neat little books, maybe fastened with a key: secret passion for people that can't be declared - love affairs or hatred of a certain person or true statements which are hurtful to other people or which you're ashamed of

the painting

shows blood on the water. by the bank, where Leander would swim across the bay to Hero and was killed in an accident. streaks of rain and tears run down the surface, the upper right is empty, craving for lost love, as well as the sickness caused by the sight of violence to the loved body. such a painting sets us to the neural bridges between private feeling and the forces, we can say, of history: the mythical patterns of destruction enacted by the leaders and the areas of chaotic growth of natural forces: PAN (panic) in straing [?] relation with the image of two coloured chard leaves with modelled, wrist-like stems or severed organs, clasping together. disruption and gaps - the effacement of straightforward projects - fill these paintings : the testimony comes in a form of near obliteration : the sense is almost rubbed out, blotted, scraped or effaced : scrawled or scribbled : wiped out. in the course of life in that century. it's hot in the film I think he's drinking iced tea through a straw. that's when he says: you drink a lot of coffee. I didn't see the sliced turkey sandwich. I don't know Cy Twombly's position on turkeys. it does make your mouth dry. we went outside.

there was a young couple walking in the park. they were having lunch in the cafe on the way in, and the way out. they were absorbed in conversation, smiling, prosperous, as they walked in the park in the warm sun in light clothes

yesterday it was still, you remember. today the leaves of the [Ailanthus altissima] wave back and forth in the wind, with the orange bracts. a flight of finches; then a flash of green finch wood pigeon black bird tits - and gold finches eating the elderberries, moving back and forth in the wind in the branches